Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: The Flavors Of Napa Valley (A Foodbuzz Contest)

When I decided to enter the contest to report on the finals of the Foodbuzz / San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition in beautiful Napa Valley, the answer was easy for me.  Napa Valley is my favorite culinary spot in America, both because of the breathtaking natural beauty of its surroundings and because it is a foodie paradise due to its incredible local produce.  Napa Valley is a perfect place, given its rich culinary tradition and lovely scenery, for chefs from around the world to compete to present the most incredible and delicious dishes.  I couldn't think of a better spot on earth to inspire such culinary creativity.  I love watching chefs create their masterpieces, like works of art.  I would love to be there to watch the challenge of so many superb chefs.

Thus, am first presenting some San Pellegrino sparking mineral water with the flavors of Napa Valley, in this post.    I decided to pair the San Pellegrino with the Meyer lemon, Napa's distinctive lemon.  The Meyer lemon is thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange.  It has a sweeter, less acidic taste than the ordinary lemon, and is, in my opinion, quite a star in itself.  The combination of the Meyer lemon and sparking water dazzles.

Next, I added another dish that I grew to love in Napa.  This is going to sound weird, but trust me with this one and just try it.  When I visited Round Pond Estate in Napa Valley, where they make their own limited production olive oils (and wine too, by the way), I had a marvelous buffet lunch all using local Napa produce (the best on earth).  They served vanilla ice cream with their Blood Orange Olive Oil.  I was skeptical at first.  Ice cream and olive oil?  Weird.  Bizarre.  And also amazing, especially with the blood orange complement.  Thus, this dish will alway be part of what I consider to be the distinctive flavor of Napa Valley.

To sum things up, I would love the opportunity to report live from the Almost Famous Chef Competition, and I'll have a glass of San Pellegrino, garnished with a wedge of Meyer lemon by my side, along with two of my other loves: food and writing.


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